Being Married with Children in College


Published 04/26/2011

“Sally and John sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes Sally with the baby carriage.” But what about a college education to provide for a family?

The American dream can consist of being happily married, having a family and a job that pays a decent salary. But how can parents provide for their family without a college degree? And how can a person juggle family, work and a college education?

I found myself figuring out those same roles, at the age of 19. It was exhausting to organize my life, let alone my husband and my son’s lives.
However, I was determined to stay in school and will someday graduate.

Professors might seem intimidating at first. But quickly one will learn that they are more willing to help non-traditional students. My professors have gone out of their way to see me succeed. They have met with me on campus, even on days they do not have class or office hours.

When starting a family, the money that was saved turns into diapers, gas and food. At first, I thought that there was no way that I could afford college tuition.

The first place to confide in is Shippensburg University’s Financial Aid Department. After having my son, it was easy to contact the department to get the grants and loans I needed to cover my tuition and fees.

The emotional side of being married and having a family while attending college can be a bit stressful. I never thought, I would one day look at my husband and say, “See you at school.” Or while hugging my son saying, “Mommy will see you after she’s done classes.”

I believe that no matter what age a person is, it takes determination and organization to attend college and still keep track of everyday life.

During these years, there will always be classes changed at the last minute and children getting sick. Not to mention, the late nights of studying, because during the day all you hear is “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, look at what I just wiped all over the wall.”

Young parents must look at a college education as an investment in their future. I remind myself that if I do not graduate and work hard, why should my child? It builds self-esteem and self confidence as a person presses toward the goal of graduation.

Life throws a few rough experiences at us.

But I have learned that the rainbow does not always come out after a storm. It is when I grab the rain boots to go splash in the puddles, that I realize that there are other ways to accomplish the big picture.

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